A Neat Little Milestone

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Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Pontiac, will make his 250th career NASCAR Winston Cup Series start at this weekend's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Now in his ninth season of NWC competition, Craven made his first start in the series in 1991 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, N.C., driving a Dick Moroso-owned Oldsmobile.

"It's a neat little milestone, but I don't really think it's that big a deal," said Craven. "I saw where Ricky Rudd made his 800th start this past weekend. Now, that's something worth talking about. I'm proud that nearly half of my starts have come with Tide and PPI Motorsports. I've been lucky to have a great core group of people around me for the past three years, and I'm having the most fun working with PPI and Tide I've ever had in my career. I'm very lucky to have been around the sport long enough to have made 250 starts, but I'm not dwelling on the past. My focus is on the next three years, driving the Tide car for PPI Motorsports."

On Saturday Craven will join TNT's announce team as a special guest announcer for the NASCAR Busch Series Bashas' Supermarkets 200. Craven is no stranger to the NBS, having competed in that series off and on from 1986-2000. Craven has four wins, 30 top-five and 61 top-10 finishes in 140 NBS starts, and was the 1992 NBS Rookie of the Year.

Friday's qualifying session at 4:05 p.m. ET will allocate all 43 starting spots for Sunday's 312-lap, 500-kilometer battle. Saturday's final "Happy Hour" practice session is set for 11:10 a.m. until 11:55 a.m. Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500, the largest sporting event in Arizona, has a 1:30 p.m. local starting time and features live coverage by NBC-TV and MRN Radio.

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